Local leaders encourage health education in the black community


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — This year, with Black History Month, there is also a focus on the importance of health and wellness.

Offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Minority Health are collaborating with health care workers across the country to highlight the impacts of COVID-19 on African Americans with underlying health conditions. underlyings.

Local organizations have vaccinated thousands more Kern County residents against COVID-19.

Local leaders are working to alleviate vaccine hesitancy in communities here in Bakersfield by partnering with healthcare organizations to provide easier access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and resources to communities. underserved.

“We know that there are many health disparities within the African American and Hispanic community, said Marie Ruffin, Clinical Director.

Between helping communities in need and fighting misinformation, Ruffin said she helps organizations partner with Kern Medical to provide community vaccination clinics.

“We are also trying to bring in professionals so they can see us. To see representation, nurses, providers, and doctors, so they can give them some type of information about the vaccine, bust any myths, break any fears or worries.

MLK CommUNITY Initiative and ShePower Leadership Academy founder Arleana Waller said she has been on the frontlines since the very beginning of the pandemic.

“I realized that there were no penetrating efforts in the African American community. I started reaching out like an octopus finding someone to support us and help us reach out to the community. African American, not to say get vaccinated or not get vaccinated, but to educate and engage them so they have the information to make their best choice,” Ruffin said.

With the help of national and local resources, she saw a difference.

“We were able, thanks to these efforts, to vaccinate more than 50,000 people. Through our efforts in the community, we’ve partnered with community organizations, we’ve partnered with hospitals, we’ve partnered with clinics where probably our efforts in our collaboration have immunized over 80,000 people, I would say. Waller said.

Ruffin said health disparity is a big deal.

“Everyone has a different experience in that they shouldn’t let myths or fears keep them from getting vaccinated and getting information about it.”

“We are not saying vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. We’re saying get vaccinated, make a decision that works for your family, but what you see is a lot of people aren’t educated so they can’t make that decision, it’s important,” said Waller said.

Waller said the goal is to reach even more people, and additional COVID-19 testing sites are expected to open on Saturday.


About Author

Comments are closed.